LETTER to OGYAM

LENNOX ASSAN


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By Lennox Assan

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LETTER TO OGYAM; …..ANOTHER LEGACY OF ROME

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Here is a fun fact for you Ogyam, Crepitus, he was the Roman god of toilet and flatulence. I understand Apollo was the god of music and medicine, he could have come handy for our underground rappers. Venus was the goddess of love, that would have come well for our crushes and brothers in the friend zone (the Greeks referred to her as Aphrodite). But Crepitus, the god of toilet and flatulence? Well, that god is the only one you could boldly say was full shit with no blot of blasphemy. Imagine the awkwardness as you walk silently to his temple to address your grievances regarding constipation.

Stories from ancient Roman civilization are always fascinating and endearing. And it will surprise you to know, that some incidences that took place in the Roman empire gave in to quite a number of phrases and idiomatic expressions we find in the English language today. He’s a few of which can be realted;

HANNIBAL HAS CROSSED THE ALPS. When an extreme or intense calamity looms whereby little or nothing can be done to avert it, this phrase is usually used to describe such a misfortune.

ORIGIN. At the heights of its might, the Roman empire had undoubtedly made many enemies but none was as fearless as the Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal Barca. It was he who handed the Roman army its most humiliating rout at the battle of Cannae. History records the Roman death toll as no less than six thousand. This in no doubt weakened the Roman army……at least for a while. Such was Hannibal’s passionate derision towards the Roman empire that he made the daring attempt to attack the city of Rome itself. To avoid the Roman’s fortified structures of defense, he made the audacious move of passing through the Alps with thousands of soldiers and horses as well as about fifty elephants. Notwithstanding the fact that it was a costly effort, he arrived at the Italian plains with most of his men. Although Hannibal was defeated by Scipio Africanus at the battle of Zama, Hannibal’s pursuit of Roman subjugation and conquest is legendary.

 

CROSSING THE RUBICON. When a decision is made, whereby the said decision is impossible to revoke, it is then stated that the one who made such decision has crossed the Rubicon. An irrevocable and portentous choice.

ORIGIN. The Rubicon was a river which served as a traditional of the city of Rome. It was impermissible for a general to bring his army to Rome through the Rubicon. Caesar’s action of crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion precipitated the Roman civil war between him and Pompey. Had Caesar lost, it would have had dire consequences for him, since his crossing of the Rubicon was deemed a treasonable offence.

 

NERO FIDDLED WHILE ROME BURNED. When a leader involves himself with trivial issues whereas desperate and more important matters of concern are relegated to the background.

ORIGIN. The last of the Julian dynasty of emperors in the Roman empire was Nero Claudius Caesar. It was during his time the Great Fire of Rome occurred. Of the 14 districts of Rome, 3 were completely burnt. The rumours were that whiles the fire kept raging on, the emperor Nero was seen standing on top of his palace roof unconcerned, wearing a stage costume and singing.

 

NOT WORTH THE SALT. To be worth one’s salt shows competence and proficiency, and for that reason, you deserve what you are earning.

ORIGIN. In ancient Greek and Roman times, a soldier’s pay which consisted in part salt came to be known as salarium argentum, from which the word “salary” was derived. A soldier’s salary was cut if he was “not worth the salt”. A phrase that came into being for the reason that Greeks and Romans habitually bought slaves with salt.

 

Monty Python asked, “Apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order………..what have the Romans done for us?”. I may have an answer for that – they gave us a collection of fixed distinctive expressions whose meaning cannot be deduced from the combined meaning of it actual words. That’s another legacy of Rome.

 

 

HASTA LA VISTA


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LETTER TO OGYAM; …..THE DEVIL CAME TO TOWN

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The devil came to town Ogyam. As a matter of fact, the devil is still in town. Let me tell you his mission. It’s simple. There’s an auditing department in the devil’s office where reports of his deeds are sampled to ascertain and verify their authenticity to their claims. You know, not every deed said to be the work of the devil turns out to be true. Lately, the department seems to be in quite a bit of commotion and disarray and this in itself worries the devil. Too many deeds are being reported to be caused by the devil. However, whenever stock taking is done Ogyam, things don’t add up. I mean, receipts of claims of his works don’t add up with his actual exploits. Of course the devil wouldn’t push away the idea of taking credits for what he hasn’t done, he will welcome such move. Interestingly, it seems someone is outplaying him at his own game and the devil doesn’t like competition, anaa meboa. From wherever he was, Opana has been receiving news of his being a leading hand in various evil machinations of the sons of men. Phrases like “I’m sorry, it was the work of the devil” and “the devil pushed me to do it” were clichés that were giving him headaches, well, that is, if he had a head. Corruption, road accidents, infidelity, adultery, bribery, robbery, theft, masochism, misogyny, paedophilia – culprits of these deeds, when apprehended point accusing finger at him as their handler. So the devil took it upon himself to investigate, he went to heaven, and asked for the angels’ registry. From the records it appeared he was the only one who has stood up against the authority of Oga himself, and that even didn’t end well since he was hurled down alongside his minions. But at that instance it occurred to him, maybe it is one of his demon cronies who is hogging up all these schemes and manoeuvres, probably to attempt a coup, an act he’s familiar with. And so, he begun scrutinizing his cohorts, to find the culprit(s), give him the Jordan Peterson betrayal speech and then fire him/them. You can take that part literally. Well, the good news for him was that none of his agents was trying to outdo him. The bad news was that there was someone out there trying to outdo him.

He then decided to pay humans a visit, to see things for himself as we usually say, “perhaps my agents have been exaggerating the reports” he thought to himself. And that, my brother, is the reason why the devil came to town. He visited workplaces and offices, corruption, maladministration, deliberate inefficiency and misdemeanours flourished. He saw strife, bitterness, anger and contentions at homes. Guess what, he visited churches, a place he called home, lies, extortion, insincerity and hypocrisy were plentiful. At that instance he realised humans are making his work easier but he feared the actions of men will render him redundant. Yes, a time will come we wouldn’t need the devil anymore. Hold on, who even needs the devil when we are our own enemies. Who needs the devil when our fellow man can put him out of business by the words we say, the things we do, and the thoughts we harbour within.


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LETTER TO OGYAM; …..THE COUNSELOR

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I never told you this my friend but I’ve redirected to a new career path. Counseling. No. I didn’t do it for the money. This decision was purely out of the intense fervor and enthusiasm to help those who think they’re in love or at the crossroads. Ogyam, you know love, right? That stupid thing your heart does when it won’t listen to your brain yelling at it to shut up. Hard that it may seem to you to believe, my counsel and advise has helped a great number of people who found themselves in a decisive moment at a time when some important decisions had to be made. Here, take a read at a few ones I handpicked. Probably you may find yourself in one or more of such situations and trust me you have my timeless advise available. You are welcome.

Dear LA. We’ve been together for four years and planning to marry in the next three years. I know my man very well so I can tell when he’s telling the truth or not. A fortnight ago, we went out and when we were returning, we bought a pack of condom. This particular pack contains five pieces in it. We’ve used two already but strangely I visited him yesterday and found out there’s just one left. I enquired him about the missing two and he claims about three days ago, he was feeling bored at home so he blew air in them as balloons and hung them in his room. He later burst them. He did all these just to kill off the boredom, he says. For once in our relationship, I can’t tell if he’s telling the truth or lying to me? Did he really blow air in them as balloons or he’s used it with another girl(s)?

Pokuaa. Sunyani.

Hi Pokuaa, first of all I want you to know that your boyfriend and I aren’t roommates. Secondly, according to a study conducted by a certain unaccredited University, men have the tendency of blowing air into condoms to pass time, kill boredom or to fight dizziness. Seriously, what were you expecting him to do in his state of boredom? Call friends and play FIFA18 or CALL OF DUTY? Nah, he’s too old for that. Some guys even blow air in all, you are fortunate he left one condom for you. Such guys are keepers, stick to him. Cheers.

 

Hello LA. My husband and I have been enjoying our marriage all these ten years until a new lady showed up next door. Well in all truth she is finer than I. Her hair, skin tone, height is all I wanted to have. Lately, I’m suspecting she and my husband are developing an emotional bond based on several mutual interests. He even likes and laughs heartily at her jokes, most of these jokes he’s heard from me already that he didn’t even giggle. When I’m with him, he takes to breathe but in her company, he takes more than that. She literally takes his breathe away. What should I do.

Akosua. Madina.

 

Hello Akos. You started by saying you and your husband have been enjoying ten years of marriage. Look here, I think you should speak for yourself. In my short experience as a counsellor, no man in his sobriety will enjoy ten straight years of happy marriage. No man. With that aside, I think your marriage is heading towards a cliff. With regards to this new girl in your neighbourhood, today she’s taking his breathe away, you don’t know what she might be taking away tomorrow. I suggest you also take something of hers away to save your marriage…her life, perhaps. You remind me of one of Dolly Parton’s songs – Jolene. Check the lyrics and take notes. Ciao.

 

Good day LA. I met this girl in secondary school, she was in Yaa Asantewaa Girls and I was in Prempeh College. LA, can you believe it was until we both entered university did I realise I didn’t know her at all? In fact, there is nothing feminine about her. She doesn’t know how to cook, she doesn’t gossip with her friends, she doesn’t even have friends, she has never been to a salon, she likes her hair trimmed. She isn’t a fan of Beyonce, nor Adele nor Taylor Swift (seriously, which girl on earth isn’t a fan of any of these). She doesn’t like telenovelas, her favourite movies are horror movies. The only feminine thing about her is…U know what I mean. I’m worried she will turn out to beat me one day. I’m leaving her. How do I leave her without any complications?

Wisdom. Atlantic hall, UCC.

 

Hmmm. Wisdom. Prempeh College and Atlantic Hall eh, such a toxic mix. Why am I not surprised? By the way, your name, Wisdom, is it a nickname given to you by your peers or it was given to you at birth by your parents. If it’s the former, then I applaud them for their high sense of sarcasm. But if it was given to you at birth, then I’m guessing you parents, wherever they are, are reeking in the disappointments of you not living up to your name. Where on God’s earth did you find the codified records of feminism. That she can’t cook? Really. There are countless recipes to various kinds of foods on the internet by the way. But let’s cut it here, since you’ve made up your mind to leave, I guess the best way to do so without any complications as you stated, is to send her a text, outlining all your disappointments with her, once that is done, remove the sim card and destroy it. She can never get back to you again. All the best

 

LA. I’m planning for my wedding next month, a very posh one. I’m making arrangements for seven bridesmaids and seven best men. Can you help me find the best event planners in the country? My budget for the whole wedding is two thousand cedis. (Gh¢ 2000.00)

Nana, Berekum.

 

Hello Nana, if you had asked for the best event planners in town, that is Berekum, I would have given you a quick recommendation. However, the best in the country? Well that’s a long shot I must say. And is that your budget for the photography? Oh I read that wrongly, you mean the whole event. Ok. I’m planning on a thirty-day holiday trip to Bora Bora with just seven hundred and fifty cedis, I’ll do well to help out when I return. Best of regards.

 

Good day LA. I’m in a situation with unsatisfactory choices to make. I caught my boyfriend cheating not just twice nor thrice but five times. Last week, I caught him for the sixth time. All this in less than six months. I’ve had enough and I’m leaving. But my problem is how to leave. Should I tell him via text or must I point it right in his face.

Afua. Takoradi

 

Hi Afua, I don’t know about you women but when a guy is caught cheating in a relationship, he goes through a lot of trauma, anxiety and an extremely distressing emotional shock. I’m sorry you gotten it wrong. This is not the time to leave. This is the moment you need to stick closer to him. At this point, I can tell you he is on the verge of committing suicide. Draw close to him, comfort him, be his succor. Let him know you will always be there for him. “Darling I’m sorry for catching you for the sixth time. I promise it won’t happen again. Ever”.

 

I’m always at your service buddy. call me when the need be. I’m the couselor

 

HASTA LA VISTA


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LETTER TO OGYAM; …..LIEBSTER AWARD

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One person I always look up her blog is “pressure queen” Desaha, she terms that as stalking but you see let’s all ignore the semantic. Maybe that’s the name given to someone who breathes on your neck to write. She’s among the top bloggers I discovered this year and you can check her blog here. She’s a big girl. I visited her blog today and as it turned out, she’s nominated me for the LIEBSTER AWARD. Girl, much thanks to you for this nomination. I appreciate.

The purpose of the award is to uncover bloggers, “connect and support the blogging community”. It also helps in providing a bigger platform for your blog and other bloggers.

Rules of The Liebster Award:

  1. Create a new blog with the graphic of the ward thanking the person that nominated you, link to their blog.
  2. Create a set of questions for your nominees to answer.
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers and share your blog post with them so they can accept their awards.

Aim and Objectives Liebster Award:

“The Liebster Award is a blogger award for new bloggers and those with few or small followers. It’s an amazing way of giving new bloggers an opportunity to gain some recognition and encouragement for their hard works”.

DESAHA’S QUESTIONS AND MY RESPONSE

1. DO YOU GOOGLE YOURSELF TO SEE IF YOUR BLOG WOULD COME UP?

Sometimes. Especially when I haven’t written or posted anything in a long time.

2. WHAT MADE YOU START BLOGGING?

Was enthused by the works of two people; veteran journalist George Sydney Abugri, whom I started reading his columns in the Daily Graphic when I was in JSS, Letter to Jomo and Kofi Yankey, who introduced me to his works during our time at the University of Cape Coast.

 

3. HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO KEEP YOUR BLOG UP AND RUNNING?

I posted my first article in March 2014, and since then, I’ve thrown a challenge to myself to write every month. The motivation comes in when I’m nearing the end of a month and there’s no article written. At that moment, I realize I’m on the verge of committing a “crime” or “sin”, perhaps it has been done already, thus cleansing needs to be done.

4. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THAT IS THE GREATEST SATISFACTION OF BEING A BLOGGER?

When people other than yourself keep reminding you to write and post something when you haven’t done that in a while. It brings a sense of urgency within and an appreciative feeling that one’s work is being welcomed.

5. HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON WHAT BLOG TO FOLLOW?

I give priority to blogs whose theme and subject matter meet my interests; Satire, Fiction, Tech, Entrepreneurship, etc.

 

I AM HEREBY NOMINATING THE FOLLOWING BLOGGERS TO FOLLOW UP WITH THEIRS;

JOSEPHINE AMOAKO – JOSEYPHINA’S WORLD

KWAKU GYAMFI – WRITINGS OF THE BEAUTIFUL ONE

ABOKI CLEDRE – TALES FROM MADINA

SELASI KOMLA ADJOR – SELA’S LINES AND STANZAS

LIGRI NABA – PLAIN TALK FOR PLAIN PEOPLE

INSPIRED GRISELE

 

BELOW ARE THE QUESTIONS I HAVE FOR MY NOMINEES;

  1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING?
  2. HAVE YOU FACED ANY DIFFICULTIES IN YOUR BLOGGING LIFE?
  3. HOW OFTEN DO YOU POST ARTICLES ON YOUR BLOG?
  4. HAVE YOU BEEN IMPACTED POSITIVELY BY ANY BLOG/BLOGGER?
  5. WHICH DO YOU ENJOY DOING MOST – READING OR BLOGGING?

 

10 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I always end my articles with the Spanish phrase HASTA LA VISTA (See You Later)
  2. I pick the titles of my articles from the last sentence in that article.
  3. My all time favorite movie is TROY. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
  4. Although I’m a Christian, I believe the whole concept of hellfire is misconstrued and overrated.
  5. I had my basic education in the Western Region, secondary education in the Ashanti Region and tertiary education in the Central Region.
  6. Of the 10 regions in Ghana, I’ve been to 7. Hoping to complete all 10 soon.
  7. I don’t have a favorite food.
  8. I have read 5 of Shakespeare’s works but completed only 1 – Julius Caesar
  9. I prefer African authors to foreign authors. More priority to Nigerian authors
  10. I’ve seen all I’ve written but haven’t written all I have seen

Thanks for the Liebster Award

HASTA LA VISTA